Mother and Child

A Beautiful Picture.

!Xun storyteller, !Nisa, changed into her traditional dress for the recent storytelling event on Platfontein in the Northern Cape. Her family no longer lives as hunter-gatherers, but the tradition of storytelling has all but died out – her baby is learning a great repertoire of stories at her mother’s breast – passed on by generations of women in this family.

The Water Spirit

I told the story of  ‘The Water Spirit’ to a friend over tea the other day. When she asked me to write it down so that she may share it with her daughters, I was not only delighted to pass it on, but thought it a good opportunity to spread the mysterious... read more

Mother and Child

Mother and child at the recent storytelling festival on the San communal farm, Platfontein, in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. !Nisa dressed in her traditional outfit for the occasion. The old hunter-gatherer way of life no longer exists for this... read more

Storyteller Emelia Kuvangu Muhinda

Dear Friends and Story Lovers, !Xun storyteller, Emelia Kuvangu Muhinda talks about beading and storytelling in the same breath: “My mother wove beads into skin dresses for us when we were little. That was how I learnt to create things and tell stories.” I... read more

Platfontein Story Festival

   Dear Friends and Story Lovers, This handful of photographs from last week’s storytelling festival on the San Farm, Platfontein in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, is a story in itself. I hope you enjoy them! The festival was hosted by veteran !Xun... read more

Katitu in Spain

Dear Friends and Story Lovers, Kapilolo Mahongo and I recently returned from Spain where we performed at the 22nd annual Guadalajara storytelling festival. Every year, the mayor of this town opens the event with a story, followed by a non-stop, 36-hour-long marathon... read more

The Art of Stories and Rocks

Dear Friends and Story Lovers Kapilolo Mahongo carries an ancient oral storytelling tradition in his memory. Last week he visited the exquisite rock art etchings in the Klein Karoo with Spanish folklorist, Jose Manuel de Prada Samper, who took these photographs. This... read more

Meet Storyteller Likua Kambembe

Dear Friends and Story Lovers, Likua Kambembe is a member of the !Xun Council of Elders and carrier of a great deal of traditional stories. He helps direct the Council’s Kulimatji project – dedicated to the continued life of his community’s oral... read more

Meet Storyteller, Kunyanda Shikamo

Dear Friends and Story Lovers, Here is Kunyanda Shikamo arriving at the Kalahari Desert Festival 2013, with her dancing gear in hand. She was born in the village of Mucusso in Angola in 1954 and has lived on the Khwe and !Xun communal farm in the Northern Cape... read more

Kalahari Desert Stories and Storytellers

 Dear Friends and Story Lovers, I recently had the privilege of telling stories with San storytellers at the 2013 The Kalahari Desert Festival.  Naro speaker, Bega Xhaase (below), who travelled from his home in Ghanzi in Botswana to be with us, told this story about... read more

New Publication: The Mud Baby

Dear Reader

Every story gives rise to another. So it was with writing The Mud Baby; singing into the silence of losing a child. One story evoked the next until they eventually grew into the compendium they have become.

The Art of Storytelling…

Much of my work is about celebrating the art of storytelling. The Mud Baby does this in its own unique way – as a meditation on the stories people tell when someone they love dies. My book thinks about the value of short-lived lives and gathers together stories from a diverse range of tellers, both ancient and contemporary. It is a eulogy to my nephew, whose long illness inspired the collection of these healing stories and thus enabled the making of this book. I tell this story in more detail in the preface to my book.

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Kalahari Desert Festival Long Sequence - 042